1881-1924. Dutch writer. De Haan was a talented Dutch writer, poet and journalist with extreme emotional instability, which, it has been suggested, was caused by repressed homosexual tendencies. The son of a cantor, he became a left-wing radical. In 1918, he abandoned his non-Jewish wife and his children and settled in Palestine as the correspondent of the Amsterdam Algemeen Handelsblad and the London Daily Express. Here he swung round to an ultra-orthodox religious position, became the spokesman for the Agudat Israel, and poured out articles that were anti-Zionist and pro-Arab. His attitudes and his collaboration with Arab leaders aroused strong resentment and hostility in the yishuv. In 1924, he was assassinated under circumstances that caused heated controversy.
1872-1937. Zionist publicist. A London journalist, de Haas corresponded with Dr HERZL after the publication of Der Judenstadt, and acted as Herzl's secretary in England and at the early Zionist congresses. He settled in Boston, Mass., in 1902, edited Jewish journals, and was active in Zionist work. In 1910 he introduced Louis D. BRANDEIS to Zionism, and remained closely associated with him. An adherent of Herzlian political Zionism, de Haas was later drawn into the Revisionist movement headed by JABOTINSKY. His books included biographies of Herzl and Brandeis.
1868-1934. German chemist and Nobel laureate, 1918. Haber developed a process for synthesizing ammonia from hydrogen and nitrogen by combining them under pressure, using iron as a catalyst. The Haber process, as it was called, was adapted for industrial use, and earned for him the director-ship of the Kaiser Wilhelm Research Institute for chemistry in 1911. Haber's discovery was invaluable to the German war effort; it is estimated that without it British naval activity would have caused Germany to run out of nitrogen and therefore explosive by 1916, thus bringing World War I to an early conclusion in a German surrender. During World War I, Haber, a chauvinistic German, worked in the field of gas warfare, and directed the first use of chlorine gas on the battlefield, in 1915. Despite the military implications of his ammonia process, it gained Haber the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918. After the war he worked on an unsuccessful scheme to isolate gold from seawater in order to help pay the indemnity imposed on Germany by the Allies. He once more made the Berlin institute a leading centre for physical chemistry, and was elected president of the German Chemical Society. His achievements and prestige did not save him from the attentions of the Nazi regime, despite his denial of the Jewish religion and his demonstrations of German patriotism. He was ordered to dismiss all Jews on his staff; he refused, resigned his post and fled to England. Already in poor health, he died in Switzerland.
d. 1899. Yemenite